Last week I did a really personal post, all about my own journey to trying to find a balance between two of the biggest loves of my life: running a business (and doing it well), and being a mama (who is present– physically and mentally, joyful, and intentional).
The messages I received were incredible. So many women wrote in, saying thank you for making them feel less alone, or less anxious about having a baby/kids/family if they also have a business (or are hoping to do all of those things one day), or those that were encouraged to see that there are so many ways to go about making it “work”. That there are ways you can navigate it and get creative, even if it takes getting outside of our comfort zones.
And then, some others had more questions.
So today I wanted to answer more of those Q’s.
And share more about the specifics of what I’m doing now, and how we as a team at SRH structure things behind the scenes, and the other things that have shifted for me since becoming a mama, while also growing a company– in hopes it helps to hear some examples. I know that it’s a very *specific* topic, and like I’ve said before, it was really hard for me to find women talking about it while I was going through it. So I hope in sharing this, it helps another mama out there with big dreams.
So, let’s dive in to daily life now. I already shared my daily schedule for the week in the last post, but let’s go into more detail:
Where are things now?
I think the biggest change for me right now from how I was operating before, is that I feel truly satisfied in how and where I’m spending my time– whether it’s in my business and working hours or with my little guy & family. And that having a baby actually has made my business BETTER, not worse. I think that’s important to share, because it was one of the things I was afraid of. Both in how I’m spending my time, our annual revenue and growth, and the the level of stress I carry around in my life.
So here are the things that have changed for me in business, since becoming a mom:
1. I know that a lot of mom’s won’t necessarily agree with me on this, but having Noah was a very calming force in my life. He forced to me slow down, and be in the moment more. He reminded me of what’s truly and actually important to me…. meaning I waste less time being stressed or anxious about silly things in my business, and am reminded all the time that things are not usually as urgent as I would have made them before (aka, the email MUST be answered by 9am… vs it’s fine until 10am kind of thing) because I can see things from a bigger perspective. Or that that kind of task is completely off my plate now so I can focus on higher level stuff.
I’ve learned about the joy of slooooow, quiet mornings– morning walks with him, making and eating breakfast and my morning bevvie together, and just changing the pace of things. It’s relaxing to me to start my day like that— just focused on his joy, his little personality, and just being together. It’s what life is really about. And it’s forced me to have better boundaries around my work time and my time with him to do so (aka, no checking my email, slack, or DM’s until my actual work hours of 10am vs when I’m with him in the mornings). It’s been such a welcome slow-down from how I used to start my days, and my hormones & cortisol thank me daily.
2. When I’m working, I’m working on the big stuff, the deep stuff and the impactful stuff. With the mentorship of James Wedmore and doing his BBD program (and then eventually his Next Level program because I was getting so much out of it– more on that below), when I work, I’m working on the 5% of tasks that actually move the business forward. Meaning out of EVERYTHING there is to do in a business, there’s about 5% of it that are things that only you, as the founder and CEO, can do. Most of it is the actual deep work: the program creation, the messaging, the strategy, showing up LIVE and serving your audience, etc. That leaves 95% of the rest of things that you can get help with. Or just stop doing completely.
This concept blew my mind at first. And was sooooo challenging for me to actually start implementing. Including getting help with the other 95% of things that have to be done for a business to run. But once I did start to make some shifts, I not only am working on my most favorite things (the stuff that can help people change their lives), but because my focus is on the higher impact stuff, working less hours is ok. And sometimes needed because of the intensity and focus it requires.
So when I’m working, I’m DEEPLY working. As in noise-cancelling headphones on, water, my bevvie and a mid-morning snack by my side for when I need it, and only checking things like email and slack at specific and limited points in the day (like 2x/day max), and having our inboxes monitored by our team instead of me. And having help with most other areas and tasks that are part of our day-to-day things.
My to-do list is a TIGHT ship, and often it takes me a week to get my top 3 things done. But the things I’m working on really move things forward, vs spending twice as long in the admin tasks, and doing things that not only you can do.
3. Part of my 5% tasks are now leading a (freaking incredible) team of women that I’m so proud of at SRH. We’re now a team of 5, and I am obsessed with each one of them. I always look forward to our weekly team calls, which I never thought I’d say (miss independent over here). But again, with the help of the BBD program and really figuring out what parts of the business there were, and what the roles and responsibilities were for each of those categories, it made it much easier to find people when I knew what I was actually looking for– and common structures that are helpful to follow, especially for online businesses. (In BBD, there is a whole section on hiring a team, the best interview questions, the full process from start to finish, where to look for great people, how to know if they’re a good fit, and examples of how it works to run and manage a team day to day and each week.)
Each person has a very defined role and responsibilities, and week to week we do one 45 min meeting on everything going on that week, what everyone needs, updates, etc and then follow up as needed with each other via slack.
4. The importance of structure in your business (especially behind-the-scenes)…. so that you can actually have more freedom. This was something I’ve always known I needed to spend a little more time on…..but there was never a time where it felt like I HAD the time to pay attention to some of these things. When you’re a solo entrepreneur, that’s usually the case.
But, your business is like a machine. And the more you can keep things organized, running clean and automated as much as possible behind the scenes, the more time you can spend on higher value activities and actually scaling. It can feel like taking a little step back so that you can take 4 steps forward. This was something I for sure found so appealing and helping in BBD– there are the *exact* processes for almost every task behind the scenes when it comes to VA’s, hiring, interviewing, along with the other helpful things like creating a landing page, sales page, launching without a list, etc. Sometimes for me seeing the examples would give me a whole different idea on how to do things, or what was possible. Or new systems or tools I’d never heard of. The emphasis was on efficiency and to stop doing tiny tasks that can be more automated. Time back is always a good thing, and this part was intimidating for me, thus why I was drawn to BBD in the first place.
Ok, now onto some of the biggest questions from YOU, about business:
1.”How do you trust yourself enough to invest in your business?”
For me, after 9 years in business, I know that every single time I have invested in myself, it always comes back ten-fold (financially, in wisdom and in growth overall). The process of investing in yourself— and betting on yourself, is what creating a business is all about at the core. It’s when you believe in something so fully (your mission), but also the way that YOU believe that you are here to serve the world with you own dose of magic, that’s when things really take off. You do have to be confident. And trust yourself. And show up for yourself. And keep the promises you make to yourself. That’s true whether you run a business or not— but when you do, it’s the utmost important thing. So anything you can do to continue to learn, grow, and give yourself the opportunity to be challenged, to be held accountable and to push yourself…. to me that’s priceless. If you’re not willing to invest in yourself, how you expect your customers to want to invest with you? I’m sure you can eventually learn and teach yourself most things…..but it will take 5 times as long and a lot more mistakes and growing pains, than just learning directly from people who have already done what you want to do. To me, it’s just a faster track to get there.
2. “Do you believe in the statement “you can have it all, but not all at once?”
Yes, I do. I don’t believe that we as women can (or should be) doing it all. But I do believe that there is plenty of time for the things in your life that are the most important, the most impactful and the most life-giving to you. I do NOT do it all. The list of things I don’t do in my life is soooooo much longer than the things I do, do. To me, working on my business and being a mama and pouring into my family are my big 3 things. So I make the time and room for them. And outsource of just plain stop doing a lot of other things that take time away from those things. A lot of this has been practice over time— paying attention to what drains me vs excites me, what soothes me and FEELS good when I’m doing vs not. And having waaaaaay better boundaries around what I do and don’t allow into my life and energy.
3. “How do you not feel guilty while working?”
I actually don’t feel guilty at all. I love what I do, and I love that Noah will get to grow up seeing his mama being lit up by her passion and by helping as many people as possible live better, more simplified and healthier lives. I hope that I can be a living, breathing example of what is possible if you follow your passions in life— and that anything is possible. I love both parts of my day equally— and when I’m work mode, I’m fully there and present to it. And when I’m in mama mode and family mode, I’m fully present there too (for the most part and most days). I don’t think it’s about the hours necessarily in either, I think it’s about how present and intentional you are during those times. Again, a lot of this comes back to boundaries— being off my phone on the weekends, in the mornings and late afternoons. It’s like I have 2 separate lives.
4. “How do you narrow it down? I have so many business ideas I don’t know which one to focus on, but I feel like time is running out”.
I love this question, and that you’re busting with ideas! If you have a list of ideas already going I think it’s a really helpful thing to think about not only what you WANT and love to do (which is important), but that there is a big NEED or desire for that thing too. That it solves a problem. Sometimes figuring out whether something does solve a problem or need, takes a little research and digging. Thinking about those people on the other end (your potential customers or clients) and what pain you are removing or taking away from them— and if their desire is have it gone is strong enough that they would happily pay someone to get rid of it, solve it, etc.
Anyways, I always want to be an open book and share the things that have helped me, be it resources, people, programs and classes, masterminds, etc. If you haven’t already, I just updated my favorite business resources & guide here this summer as well, which has a huge list of all my favorite things on this topic.
And no matter what, I hope you find SOMETHING (or someone, or some resource) that helps you learn and continue growing this season. As an entrepreneur, continually learning about yourself and continuing to grow and challenge yourself is part of the journey— a HUGE part of it, truly.
Because you don’t have to do it all on your own. You don’t have to feel always stressed and maxed out for time. You don’t have to feel like your work takes over your entire LIFE. It’s knowing that you are worth it– your business is worth it. It’s trusting that whatever you put in or invest, as long as you show up fully, you will get back ten-fold. It’s trusting that your time and energy are worth protecting. That your family and your own health is worth it too. There is no prize at the end for doing everything “all by yourself”.
So I hope you will join me in doing something this time of year to get refreshed. To be a student again. To look at things with a new perspective. And to be open to seeing things another way. Every leap in my business (and in my own personal growth) has always come when I’m able to make the space for those things.
photos by Carina Skrobecki & Talitha Photos